Disability Student Allowance
Supporting you while you learn
- If you have received your grant from Student Finance England or NHS bursaries, please begin at Step 1
- If your grant is through the NHS or SAAS please go straight to Step 2
- If you haven’t received your letter yet, we cannot process your order.
Wondering if you have the right letter?
Take a look at these 3 sample forms to see if you can place your order.
Step 1: Place your order
To process your order we will need a copy of the first 3 pages of your approval letter (DSA 2 or NHS bursary approval letter). The rest of the document is confidential and should not be sent. This first page will show:
- Your name and address – if the address shown is not the preferred delivery address, please let us know
- Your customer reference or student reference number
- An entitlement or approved funding table
Please check all your contact details and entitlements are correct before sending them to us. Please also include your mobile telephone number and email address. We will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your information.
You can send us this information by:
- 023 80 240 310
- Microlink PC UK Ltd
Step 2: Order confirmation and upgrades
When we receive your information, we will enter your details into our database and a confirmation letter or email will be sent to you. This usually happens within 24 hours of receiving your order.
At this point, you can contact us to arrange delivery and also have the opportunity to upgrade your order. It is important to remember that any upgrade will need to be paid by you and won’t be covered by your grant. The £200 contribution towards the computer system is also payable at this point if you are starting university in 2015.
For NHS and SAAS students, we would take your payment details and arrange delivery.
Step 3: Delivery and installation
Once your order has been confirmed, we will contact you to arrange a convenient delivery and installation date for you.
Delivery, installation and familiarisation usually takes place within 10 working days of confirmation of your order.
Important: Please do not open your boxes until one of our installation engineers is present. Opening equipment before our installation engineers is with you may invalidate any claims of damage during transit.
If your machine or peripheral items have been damaged during transit, please contact us within 5 working days; otherwise your claim cannot be logged.
Find out how the Disabled Student Allowance can support you.
The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) funding is available for UK students with disabilities who are undertaking full time courses in Higher Education. Part-time students, studying on a designated part-time higher education course are also eligible for DSAs, as are post graduate students.
What disabilities does the DSA cover?
Disabilities supported by the DSA include SpLD’s like dyslexia, visual impairment, mobility impairment, hearing impairment, mental health and other ongoing health conditions.
What can the DSA provide?
The award is intended to cover any extra costs or expenses a student may have to meet whilst studying, that arise because of a disability. DSAs do not depend on your or your parents’ income and there is no upper age limit. The costs of your support are paid directly to the supplier (minus a £200 contribution for any computer system or any upgrades you want to make) so you don’t have to worry about any invoices. The amount part time students are allocated is affected by ‘course intensity’. This is measured by the length of the course each year compared to a full time course
The rates of allowances for the 2015/16 academic year for new students, are as follows:
- Specialist equipment allowance: up to £5,212 for the whole of your course – the same for part-time students. For DSA students this can mean provision of computer, scanner, specialist software such as Dragon speech recognition software, text-to-speech software and mind mapping software. Some students may also be recommended a digital voice recorder or note-taking software, electronic dictionaries and or a spell checker. All items are fully insured for the duration of the course and students have access to telephone support for technical queries and course long product warranties.
- Non-medical helper’s allowance: up to £20,725 per year of your course – up to £15,543 for part-time students. This can mean training to use your specialist equipment (although this can be included in the equipment allowance); extra help to deal with study skills, reading skills, work organisation, grammar, spelling and numeracy difficulties; NMH does not cover extra tuition for your course.
- General disabled student’s allowance: up to £1,741 for each academic year – up to £1,305 for part-time students. This allowance can help meet the costs of extra photocopying, coloured paper or even extra books if your disability means that you cannot read books in the library in the normal way. As with the non-medical helpers’ allowance, part-time students are eligible for an allowance of the equivalent percentage to their course.
Postgraduates can get a single allowance of up to £10,362 a year.
More information is available on the DSA overview pages of the Gov.uk website using the link below:
When can I apply?
Students can apply now.
Important: You should apply as soon as you know you are going to university. However, you can only receive your equipment once you have been accepted to university and started your course.
Who can’t apply for a DSA grant?
You wouldn’t be able to apply for a DSA grant if you are:
- A non UK national student
- Eligible for an NHS bursary – this would be for students who are accepted for an NHS funded place on a full or part time course which leads you to be professional registration. For more information on NHS bursaries, you can visit: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/3253.aspx
- Getting equivalent support from another funding source – this could include funding from your university or a social work bursary
- Students who are on sandwich courses. If you are on a sandwich course you can apply for the Access To Work scheme during your year of work.
How long does it take to get your solution?
Have a look at the complete DSA supply process.
Microlink and the DSA
We have been supplying the DSA since 1992. In this time we have supported over 180,000 students and continue to support a further 40,000. We have made it our business to understand and provide a professional service to all our customers regardless of their disability.
Microlink is an accredited member of the Disabled Students Allowance Quality Assurance Group (DSA-QAG) and we are dedicated to delivering and surpassing the requirements of the Suppliers Service Level Agreement.
The DSA-QAG measures the quality of work from organisations conducting DSA needs assessments and supplying recommended DSA equipment in England and Wales.
You can apply for the Disabled Student Allowance by completing 6 steps.
Step 1: Fill in the DSA application form
Complete and send the relevant DSA 1 form to start the process, informing Student Finance England that you would like some support. The strength of your application can be enhanced by providing evidence supplied by a health care professional.
If you believe that you may have a learning disability, you will need to complete a ‘post 16 diagnostic report’. This can be done through a chartered or practitioner psychologist, or a specialist teacher with an Assessment Practising Certificate.
Please complete one of these forms:
- DSA 1 “Short” form – if you are also applying for DSA and other student finance
- DSA 1 “Full” form – if you are only applying for DSA or you are a part time, post-graduate or distance learning student
Step 2: Find out if you are eligible
When Student Finance England (SFE) receives your application, they will consider all the information that you have provided and will send you a letter to let you know whether you have qualified for the DSA. You should receive this letter around 2 weeks after the SFE receive your application.
Step 3: Attend a ‘Needs Assessment’
When you have received confirmation that you are eligible for a DSA grant, you will need to arrange a ‘Needs Assessment’. Your needs assessment will identify the support that you require, whether it be in the form of specialist equipment and software or any other support you will need for your studies.
You can find the nearest assessment centre to you by visiting the National Network of Assessment Centres.
Step 4: Your needs assessment report
After your needs assessment you will receive a report that will identify:
- Your recommended support
- How much it will cost
- Where to get your support from
Student Finance England will also be sent a copy of your needs assessment report.
Step 5: Find out how much the DSA can pay for
At this stage you will receive a letter from Student Finance England, letting you know whether they will fund the recommendations in your needs assessment report with a partial or full award.
You will be able to place your order at this point.
Take a look at ‘place your order’, to see the process for ordering and receiving your solution.
This final stage will be Student Finance England paying for your solution direct to the approved supplier.
Find out how to make an insurance claim.
How to submit an Insurance Claim
Please click this link to submit an insurance claim whether your policy is with the company ‘Ecclesiastical’ or ‘Export & General’.
If you were awarded your equipment BEFORE 9th April 2014, please confirm on the claims form that your policy is with Ecclesiastical.
Once submitted, you will receive an email to confirm your claim has been received with your allocated claims number. On completion, a customer service administrator from Microlink will contact you. If you have not heard anything within 2 days, please contact us and we will endeavour to assist you.
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|Accidental damage, fire theft and malicious damage (3rd party)||✓|
|Theft from unlocked / unsecured premises or vehicles||✓|
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|Full reinstatement of all hardware and software to at least the standard originally supplied||✓|
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When you come to place your order with us, we can offer you a wide range of upgrades to meet your wants and needs.
However, there are some important things to remember.
Upgrading operating systems
If you are looking to switch operating systems e.g to upgrade from a Toshiba which uses a windows operating system, to a Mac which has it’s own custom operating system there are some important things to know:
- Any changes in operating system may have an effect on the compatibility of some software that may have been recommended. Our Customer Accounts team will be able to check for any potential compatibility issues and advise you accordingly.
- Some software is not compatible with certain operating systems and if we cannot recommend a suitable alternative, we may not be able to provide your desired upgrade.
With any significantly different upgrade to your original recommendations, your assessor may have to be contacted for us to be allowed to perform your desired upgrade. Significant upgrades can be things such as:
- Upgrading from notebook to a desktop.
- Changing operating systems that may have an effect on the compatibility or features of any recommend or alternative software e.g. from Windows to Mac.
You are entitled to use the full amount of funding allocated for each item towards an upgrade of that product type. Unfortunately, your funding will not be increased to match any additional cost incurred by meeting your desired upgrade.
Popular upgrade options
Click the link below to discover some of our popular standard upgrade options!
Your warranty information is available here.
Microlink warrants that it will provide, free of charge, all labour, parts and materials that it deems necessary to repair the computer equipment covered by the agreement and restore it to good operating order.
This warranty relates to hardware equipment supplied by Microlink, and does not cover software or electrical or environmental work external to the equipment.
Services shall include diagnosis and correction of product malfunctions and failures.
Microlink shall use all reasonable endeavours to respond to calls within the response time specified within the contract.
Microlink shall first of all endeavour to resolve the problem by telephone support, by a Microlink engineer returning the call to the customer within a reasonable time.
For on-site support contracts, there is no charge for the call out of an engineer, nor is there any limit to the number of callouts made, except where it can be shown that negligence on the part of the customer or a third party has caused the failure resulting in the call out.
Any hardware or software required to repair a fault that is not covered by the warranty will be charged for.
Replacement parts shall be new or refurbished parts equivalent to new; parts that have been removed shall become the property of the company.
All equipment covered by this contract must be operated by the customer in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines. Microlink reserves the right to charge for items that have failed prematurely due to operating in adverse conditions.
Microlink is not liable for defects caused by misuse, neglect, accident, improper handling or by installation, alteration or repair not effected by the company.
Specifically in relation to LCD display screens, Microlink follows the generally accepted industry guidelines, in as much that the maximum acceptable number of dead pixels appearing on the viewable area is to be five. Microlink warrants replacing any screen with more than five dead pixels and or any single pair of pixels adjacent to each other.
Microlink’s warranty shall be limited to the repair or replacement, at Microlink’s option for defective equipment during the term of the agreement. It is the customer’s sole and exclusive remedy in place of all other conditions and warranties whether expressed or implied by statute or otherwise, in relation to the equipment supplied.
Microlink is not liable for failures or delays in performance of its obligations due to causes beyond its control.
If a fault is found to be, directly or indirectly, caused by incorrect operation by the customer, the company shall be entitled to invoice the customer for all work undertaken in relation to such fault and to charge for all parts used.
If any other equipment or devices, which have been connected or installed by the customer to the equipment, impair (in Microlink’s professional judgement) Microlink’s service efforts, they will be temporarily removed at the customer’s risk and expense, in order to allow Microlink to repair the equipment.
Microlink warrants that persons providing the support service will exercise skills appropriate to their function.
Microlink warrants that no company engineer will print any information that is contained on a customer’s hard disk without the customer’s permission and that the hard disk will not be left unattended in open areas where access to it could be obtained by unauthorised third parties.
Microlink PC UK Ltd accepts no responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data on your computer system whilst it is in for repair or during on-site training or installations. However, we will make every effort to ensure the safe keeping of your data. Please ensure no sensitive data is left on your computer.